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Eyes to the Skies

Fledge Watch Continues - No New Fledges - Saturday - 6/16/18

June 16th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Today’s Fledge Watchers:

Morning/Afternoon - Kathy O, Dana, Larry O, Dan, Carol Lukka, Darlene, Carla & JP, Carrie and Carol P. (6:30 am - 4:00 pm)

Evening - Kathy O, Carol Lukka, Carrie, Joyce, Jeanne, Carla and Larry O.  (4:00 - 9:00 pm)

Weather:  Very Sunny, with temps in the low 80’s.  Not much of a breeze.

There was a lot of activity at the nest box, but no new fledges today.  Not even Mike attempted to take flight today.  Lots of flapping by all three, strengthening their wings.  Will tomorrow be the day Mike goes again and will it be Letchworth’s time to fledge.  Only time will tell.

The highlight of the watch was when Sundara finally got the courage to make it down to the wall to join her sister and brother.  It was a beautiful sight.

As I type this report, Mike is on top of the nest box roof and Sundara and Letchworth are running the wall.

Here are some pictures from today’s fledge watch.  Enjoy!

*Please be sure to click on the picture to see the full image!*











*During the evening watch, Mike took some flights around the area and Times Square Bldg.  According to Joyce, he even chased a swift!  When the watchers left at  9:00 pm, he was on the southeast wing ledge.  Sundara and Letchworth remain at the nest box.

Fledge Watch Continues - Mike Fledges! - Friday - 6/15/18

June 15th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Today’s Fledge Watchers:

Morning/Afternoon - Dana, Larry O, Anna, Ron, Ryan, Dan, Willie, Carla, Joyce, Brian, Kathy O, Carrie and Carol P. (6:30 am - 4:00 pm)

Evening - Kathy O, Ryan, Carla, Willie, Joyce, Herbie, Dan, Larry O, Sue, Lukka (Carol) and Shaky (4:00 - 8:30 pm)

Weather:  Very Sunny, with temps in the mid 70’s.  A perfect day for a fledge!

*Please be sure to click on the picture to see the full image!*

I just had a feeling that Mike was going to fledge today and I and many other watchers were correct.  After being held back by Beauty yesterday due to the high winds, Mike was more than ready to take his first flight.

It happened at about 8:15 am.  Mike was at the north end of the wall and he was flapping his wings like crazy, and bobbing his head up and down.  Then, as Dana and I were watching, he took his first flight.  Mike headed north, towards the Powers Bldg.  We lost sight of him behind the Wilder Bldg, so we ran across the parking lot, trying to see where he went.


Just then, Mike was heading back towards the Times Square Bldg, with Beauty and Dot.ca following close behind.  Mike’s flight was strong and he quickly gained height.  He overshot the northeast wing ledge and ended up hanging from the metal grillwork.  Beauty landed on the column above the nest box and Dot.ca landed on the northeast wing ledge, very close to Mike.  Mike quickly got his feet beneath him and settled in for awhile.


After awhile, Mike decided it would be better to join his dad on the northeast wing ledge.  He spread his wings and attempted to fly over to Dot.ca.  But, he missed and fell down the face of the building.  Quickly he flapped his wings and took flight yet again.


Dana and I were on the move again, tracking Mike’s flight.  He ended up turning the corner of the Times Square Bldg, where we lost sight of him.  From in front of the Blue Cross Arena, we spotted Mike on a ledge near the top of the back extension of the Times Square Bldg on the southside.  He was safe and Beauty was nearby keeping an eye on him.


Dana remained on the southside to keep an eye on Mike, while I returned to Aqueduct St (aka “the hole”) to watch the girls, just in case.  We were joined by many watchers during the day.  You can see the list of watchers above.

Here is a picture showing the location of Mike’s first flights.


Beauty and Dot.ca did a lot of flight lessons for the new juvie and his two eyas sisters.  Once an eyas takes flight, they become a juvie or fledgling.  The flying by the adults was spectacular.  Wish you could all see what they can do.

I’ve been practicing flight shots with my new camera.  :)



Kathy O, Anna and I walked around to the southside of the building to check on Mike.  We found Dana and she pointed out his location.  He was on the move.  Back and forth on the ledge, with wings out.  He was trying to get up to the roof above his ledge.  From there, he could walk all around the building.  Finally, he made his way to the roof.  Always under the watchful eye of his watchers and parents.


I ended my watch at 4:00 pm.  By the time I left, Mike had made it up a few levels and back to the wall on the opposite side of the building from the nest box.  He had a good view of his two sisters and he found some shade to take a nap in.


After I left, Mike finally made it back to the nest box.  Beauty brought in food and that is all it took for Mike to make the short flight across the front of the building to the nest box platform.  A beautiful flight and landing.  He joined his sisters for a small meal.

Here are some more pictures from my fledge watch.  Enjoy!







Fledge Watch Continues - Thursday - 6/14/18

June 14th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Today’s Fledge Watchers:

Morning/Afternoon - Kathy O, Lisa, Dana, Larry O, Anna, Ron and Carol P. (5:30 am - 4:00 pm)

Evening - Lisa, Kathy O, Ryan, Joyce, Sue, Dan, Carrie and Larry O. (4:00 - 8:30 pm)

Weather:  Sunny, cool and VERY windy, with temps in the low 70’s.

The day started out very early (5:30 am) for this watcher.  Kathy O and I were on watch in the hole, while Lisa met the Channel 10 folks on the corner of Exchange and Broad.  They were there to see what happened during a fledge watch.  We did not get to meet them.  Maybe next time.  The falcons were quite active while they were here.


The winds were extremely high, and Beauty was determined to keep the eyases grounded at the nest box.  She kept them well fed and remained with them during most of the day and afternoon.  I was really happy she did this.  With winds like this, it is too easy to have an accidental fledge.  So, as of the time I am typing this report, all are still safely at the nest box.  We’ll see what happens during the evening watch.

There was a lot of flying lessons for the eyases by Beauty and Dot.ca.  The winds did not bother the adults at all.  In fact, they really enjoy them!

The highlight of my watch was to see a very classic food exchange between Beauty and Dot.ca over the Blue Cross Arena.  Dot.ca flew in clutching prey, and Beauty flew out to meet him.  She flipped upside down (talons up!) and grabbed the food from him.  After that, she cached the meal for later use.

Here are some pictures from today’s fledge watch.  Enjoy!

*Be sure to click on each picture to see the full image.*








Fledge Watch Continues - Wednesday - 6/13/18

June 13th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Today’s Fledge Watchers:

Early Morning - Dan and Larry O (5:15 - 7:00 am)

Morning/Afternoon - Kathy O, Dan, Ron and Carol P. (8:00 am - 4:00 pm)

Evening - Pat, Lisa, Carla, Shaky and Larry O. (6:00 - 8:30 pm)

Special thanks to the not local watchers helping by letting the local watchers know what is going on, on camera - Ei and Annette

Weather:  Cloudy, damp and rainy, some sun, with temps in the mid 80’s, area under a severe thunderstorm and wind warning, late day to 11 pm.

Another fledge watch with no fledges.  I was really hoping that they would wait to fledge tomorrow, with the possible bad weather coming through.

The highlights of the morning/afternoon watch.

We got to see Dot.ca stoop off the top of the Times Square Bldg, low over the pavement in front of us and then zipping up to continue over the river.  He did this not once, but twice!  So thrilling to see!  Definitely in hunt mode.

Letchworth made her way out onto the wall for the first time, joining her brother Mike.  It was fun to see the two youngsters flapping and running down the wall together.  Soon, Sundara will join them.

Near the end of the watch, Beauty took off and returned about 10 minutes later.  She landed on top of Camera 1 (aka Pan Cam).  She looked a little funny up there.  Turning and twisting and spreading her wings out and ….. I zoomed in on her with my camera and saw that she was soaking wet! She had taken a bath and was preening her wet feathers and drying out her wings.  lol

Here are some pictures from today’s fledge watch.  Enjoy!

*Please click on the pictures to see the full image.*







I also wanted to include some pictures of our bathing Beauty!



Fledge Watch Continues - Tuesday - 6/12/18

June 12th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Today’s Fledge Watchers:

Morning/Afternoon - Larry, Kathy O, June and Carol P. (6:00 am - 4:00 pm)

Evening - Pat, Brian, Carrie, Lisa, Ryan and Larry O. (5:30 - 8:30 pm)

Weather:  Very warm, with temps in the mid 80’s, not much wind and lots and lots of sun.

Third day of fledge watch, and no fledges yet.  Although Mike is getting closer.  He’s been running and flapping on the wall like a champ, jumping up onto the top of the nest box and finally making it to the top of camera 4.  All steps toward his first flight.

Kathy O and I covered the fledge watch from 8 am to 4 pm.  Most of the time it was very quiet, but there were times when the eyases and adults were very active.  Beauty and Dot.ca are flying high above and around the Times Square Bldg. giving their young ones flying lessons.  They seem to be getting less food at this time.  This is normal.  They need to slim down a bit before they fly.

The evening watchers reported continued activity by the falcon family.  They ended their evening watch at 8:30 pm.

Here are some pictures from my morning/afternoon fledge watch.

*Be sure to click on the pictures to see the full image.*





In case you’ve ever wondered, here is our view from Aqueduct St, aka “the hole”.


Let the Fledge Watch Begin! - 6/10 & 6/11/18

June 11th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

6/10 Fledge Watchers: Kathy O, Linda and Carol P. (9 am - 4 pm); Carrie (evening)

6/11 Fledge Watchers: Kathy O, Dana and Carol P. (8 am - 4 pm); Pat, Carrie, Herbie and Joyce (evening)

We’ll be very busy with the Fledge Watch over the next week or so.  Mike is very close to taking his first flight.  Letchworth and Sundara will take a little longer.  Both Beauty and Dot.ca are very busy watching over their young, and keeping the airspace above and around the Times Square Bldg clear of everything.  We’ve seen them chase off gulls, hawks and turkey vultures.  Anything that gets too close.

I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures from the first two days of our fledge watch.  So you can see what we do from the ground.  Enjoy!

*Be sure to click on the pictures to see the full image!*

June 10, 2018




June 11, 2018





Mother’s Day Falcon Watch - 5/13/18

May 13th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

*Be sure to click on all pictures to see the full version.*

Happy Mother’s Day to Beauty and all you mom’s out there!


It was a lovely day for a falcon watch!

There was a lot of traffic, due to graduations at the Blue Cross Arena, aka Rochester War Memorial.  So I ended up on Aqueduct St (aka “the hole”).  From there I had a great view of the nest box and the surrounding area.

8-my-view-from-the-hole-5-13-189-my-view-from-the-hole-5-13-18<— My view from “the hole”.

When I first arrived, I found Dot.a on to top Ibeam of OCSR, just where fellow watcher Larry O reported seeing him.

1-dc-on-ocsr-5-13-18<— Dot.ca on OCSR.

For a long time, there was no falcon activity.  Until Dot.ca took off, heading north.  After awhile, he returned to the same spot on OCSR.  About a half hour later, he took off again, this time heading south.  He was on the hunt!

Finally, success!  Dot.ca returned to the top IBeam on the OCSR and feathers were soon floating all around him.  When he was finished preparing the meal, he took it up to the platform in front of the nest box.  Beauty came out to meet him and took the offered meal, returning to the nest box.  After a few minutes, Dot.ca returned to the OCSR to keep guard over his family.

Here are a few pictures of Dot.ca bringing the meal to Beauty.


5-b-takes-prey-from-dc-at-nb-5-13-186-b-takes-prey-from-dc-at-nb-5-13-18<— Dot.ca brings a meal to Beauty at the nest box.

All was quiet.  It was time for me to end my Sunday morning watch.  But I had one more stop to make.  It was Mother’s Day and I wanted to remember a very special mom that I had watched raise young for many years.  I stopped at the Kodak Tower, where I had so many good memories of Mariah, Kaver and their young.  43 babies were raised here.


Happy Mother’s Day Mariah! I will always remember you with love…. <3


Sunday Morning Falcon Watch - 4/8/18

April 8th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

It was cold (temps in the 20’s), really, really cold!  My watch started with a bit of sun and clouds and ended with a blizzard.  C’mon Spring, move over Winter!  I’m really ready for some warmer temperatures.

I could see on my phone that Beauty was on the eggs.  I looked everywhere for Dot.ca, but could not find him.  So, I parked on the Broad St Bridge, where I had my best view of the area.

At 10:05 am, Dot.ca flew in with food and brought it to Beauty at the nest box.  Beauty came out and grabbed it.  She took it to the base of the Mercury statue.  Dot.ca went into the nest box to take his turn on the eggs.

3-view-of-mercury-from-court-st-4-8-184-beauty-eating-on-base-of-mercury-4-8-182-beauty-eating-on-base-of-mercury-4-8-18<— Beauty with food on base of Mercury.

It took Beauty about 10 minutes to eat her fill.  She cached the remainder of the prey on the base of the Mercury statue and then flew over to the top Ibeam on OCSR.

5-beauty-on-ocsr-4-8-186-beauty-on-ocsr-4-8-18<— Beauty on OCSR.

10:50 am - Beauty returned to the nest box and Dot.ca came bombing out, kakking.  He chased something around the Wilder Bldg, but I couldn’t see what it was.  After chasing it away, Dot.ca returned to the top of the Mercury statue.

7-beauty-on-nb-platform-4-8-18<— Beauty to the nest box.

8-dc-on-mercury-4-8-189-dc-on-mercury-4-8-18<— Dot.ca on Mercury.

It started to snow, really hard.  It quickly went from sunshine to white out conditions.

10-dc-on-mercury-4-8-18<— Dot.ca in a blizzard!

It was snowing so hard, I could hardly see Dot.ca.  Of course that’s when he decided to take off, heading west.

I waited until the snow stopped before ending my watch.  Before leaving, I saw that Dot.ca had returned to the top IBeam on OCSR.

11-dc-on-ocsr-4-8-18<— Dot.ca on OCSR.

On my way home, I drove along the lake.  There were huge amounts of Turkey Vultures flying through.  Some high, some low.  Some landing in trees and some on the ground.  I love watching the migration.  It’s a beautiful sight!

12-tv-migration-at-lake-4-8-1813-tv-migration-at-lake-4-8-18<— Turkey Vulture migration!

Easter Sunday Morning Falcon Watch 4/1/18 - Plus a Visit with Pigott & George!

April 1st, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watch Carol P.

*Click on any pictures to enlarge them.*

It was a very cold Easter morning.  This is a day I always like to check on our falcons.  Bad things have happened in past years.  Thankfully, all was peaceful and quiet this morning.

When I first arrived downtown in the hole, aka Aqueduct St, I spotted a falcon up on the Wilder green strip.  The bird was facing away from me and I thought it was Dot.ca.  It wasn’t until the falcon turned around that I was able to see the black over green band.  It was Beauty.

1-view-from-the-hole-4-1-182-view-from-the-hole-4-1-18<— View from the hole aka Aqueduct St.

3-beauty-on-wilder-4-1-18<— Beauty on Wilder green stip.

5-beauty-on-wilder-4-1-186-beauty-on-wilder-4-1-187-beauty-takes-off-from-wilder-4-1-18<— Beauty on green strip.

Beauty took off, first heading east, over the river.  She looped around and landed on the nest box platform.

8-beauty-to-nest-box-4-1-18<— Beauty on the nest box platform.

She entered the nest box and Dot.ca left.  It was her turn to be on the eggs.

Dot.ca flew overhead and landed on the top Ibeam on OCSR.  He did a hunting stoop over the river and returned.  It was time to preen.

9-dc-on-ocsr-4-1-18<— Dot.ca on OCSR.

It was time to end my Easter morning watch.  At 11:oo am, I texted that I was leaving.  Just as I was pulling out, Dot.ca took off and flew over to the Times Square Bldg.  He landed under the northeast wing.  Directly above the nest box.

10-dc-on-tsb-ne-wing-ledge-4-1-18<— Dot.ca on the NE wing ledge of the TSB.

As I was leaving, I could hear him softly wailing from above.  Letting Beauty know he was nearby.  Everything was peaceful and quiet for our downtown falcons this Easter sunday.

On my way home, I quickly scanned the Seneca Towers area, but could find no falcons there.

Yesterday, Kathy, Lisa and I drove to Syracuse to spend the day with Pigott and George.  I hadn’t seen them since last year.  Their nest box was relocated due to renovations on the State Bldg.  They have not been see at the new location.  We found them over on an abandoned apartment bldg.  They were hanging out on different balconies, hunting the neighboring pigeons.  We did not see them mate.  Due to their behavior, we don’t believe they have laid any eggs.  Here are some pictures from our visit.  Enjoy!

1-syracuse-state-bldg-3-31-182-syracuse-nest-box-3-31-18<— The State Bldg, Pigott and George’s relocated nest box.

4-pigott-3-31-187-pigott-3-31-18<— Pigott

10-pigott-3-31-1811-black-banded-pigott-3-31-18<— Black over Black Banded Pigott

5-george-3-31-186-george-3-31-189-unbanded-george-3-31-18<— Unbanded George.

8-pigott-george-3-31-1812-the-neighbors-3-31-18<— Pigott, George and the Neighbors.

MAK’s last Falcon Watch 3-31-18

April 1st, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher MAK

It was a sunny brisk morning with a temperature of 37 degrees (F) 3 (C) and a cold breeze

Click on the pics to see the full version

This will be my final Falcon Watch report as I will be moving to Arkansas this week. It’s been an honor and a privilege to share space with our resident Rochester Peregrine Falcons Beauty, DC, Billie and Seth and all the rest that have graced me with their presence over the years. I’ve met a lot of wonderful folks through our shared love for the birds and I will miss everyone more than I can express.

Last weekend I got some shots of Billie and Seth on the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge-she was eating and he was watching her.

img_0001-001-seth<Seth> img_0005-001-sethBillie> img_0017-billie-eating

Today, as I started out at the Northridge Church at East Ridge Rd. and St. Paul St. I spotted Seth on his favorite north window ledge spot. He was looking down toward the river  a lot and when I broke away to tweet out my findings he flew off without me seeing him. I have seen very little of him and his mate Buffalo Billie as of late since they are no doubt sticking close to their nest.


Seth didn’t return so I headed downtown where some watchers met with me in the hole. Joining me for the last time were Dan, Larry and his dog Zeke, Linda King (Braveheart), Jeanne, Joyce and her dogs Casey and Abby, DebbieH with her dog Blaze. I do love dogs!!!

Dot.ca (DC) was under the northeast wing of the Times Square building (TSB) and Beauty was with her eggs in the nest box.


DC did some alarm calling a couple times and flew off after a Red-tailed Hawk. We watched him dive bomb the hawk over in front of OCSR before chasing it to the north and out of sight. He returned to the wing ledge. Beauty came out to the deck and was nibbling on something before flying off to the north. DC being egg incubating lover that he is went down to the nest box to be with his eggs. The Beautyful one returned and landed under the northeast wing ledge.

img_0018-001-beauty img_0020-001-beauty img_0030-rousingimg_0031-beautyful<Beauty

Beauty flew out and came to rest on pan cam. DC flew out from the nest box and back up to the northeast wing ledge. They both gave me a final rouse (shaking their feathers).

img_0046-dc img_0048-dc-rousing<DC

Beauty then went down to the nest box and that was all she wrote. I ended my watch at high noon feeling fulfilled for both Beauty and DC gave me a wave goodbye during the watch. Keep smiling everyone- I know I will once I get past the sadness of leaving these magnificent creatures and all my peeps! :)

img_0028-bye-mak img_0047-bye-mak

Click on the links below to see snippet videos of Billie and Seth and Beauty and DC. Also, the final solo video of my girl the Beautyful One ;)




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